Child Center Administrator Accused Of
Failing To Report Child Abuse
West Palm Beach, Florida – An administrator with a child educational center spent Thursday in jail on charges he failed to promptly report allegations of child abuse in 2014 that happened under his watch, authorities say.
Timothy Wingate, 30, of West Palm Beach, is listed as the chief operating officer of Apostolic Child Development Center Inc. of West Palm Beach, according to its website.
The center, whose name was redacted from a report, had a video that showed a teacher abusing two children, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. But Wingate didn’t provide the video surveillance in the classroom to police until 10 days after their initial visit to the center, sheriff’s deputies said.
Wingate also failed to notify the state Department of Children and Families of the abuse, which he is required to do, deputies said. Wingate was recently held on the charge of failure to report child neglect, which authorities say happened at the center on May 12, 2014.
A number listed for Apostolic Child Development Center was no longer in service. Wingate could not be reached for comment despite phone calls to numbers listed in his name.
Zully Marilu Ruiz Yapan, the teacher held on the child abuse-related charge in 2014, was listed on the center’s website at the time the abuse allegation was made. Yapan was sentenced to three years of probation in April 2015, court records show.
According to the arrest report, a child in Yapan’s class told her father her teacher had hit her and she complained she couldn’t eat potato chips and was in pain.
The report states the child’s mother reported the incident to Wingate, who told her he spoke to two teachers who said “nothing happened.”
He told the family he conducted a full investigation into the matter and placed the child back into the care of Yapan, according to the report. He told someone, whose name was redacted from the arrest report, that he was “not going to allow her drag his school down,” the report said.
Wingate told investigators under oath he didn’t review the video surveillance before giving it to police, the report states. He was released from Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday after posting $3,000 bail.